Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Rediscovering Classic Icons
Many of the famous landscapes that we love most aren’t necessarily permanent. Now is the time to visit and photograph these treasures.
With the loss of these landscape icons, it raises the question, what other classic icons are threatened or prone to change, either by nature or the hand of man? To answer that question, we need to consider the forces, natural or otherwise, that most frequently impact our environment.
Some of the most beautiful locations on the planet reside underwater. The complex and colorful ecosystems that thrive within the world’s coral reefs are as fragile as they are impressive. Runoff consisting of pollutants, sediments and nutrients from growing coastal populations are threatening and degrading coral reefs. Other threats include overfishing, removal of coastal mangrove forests and coral bleaching—the loss of symbiotic algae due to the warming of seawater associated with global warming.
Flood. Many of the most beautiful desert landscapes also are the most prone to flash floods. Mountain storms several miles away can quickly send walls of water and debris into lower-lying canyons and dry creek beds also known as arroyos. With yearly rainfall values that are regularly low, visitors see little change in the landscape sometimes for as long as several decades. Ironically many of the iconic desert formations, textures and vistas are created by these infrequent and transforming floods. In 2004, Death Valley National Park, California, experienced a rare and extreme flash-flooding incident that closed roads, washed away hillsides, buried cars and killed two people.
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